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Padova model UPR, 2° edition, November 2019

The Master’s degree in Human Rights and Multi-level Governance at the University of Padova, with the support of the Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies and of the Human Rights Centre “A. Papisca” of the University of Padova, 

is organising the 

Padova Model UPR 2019, a UN Model (MUN) at the University of Padova

What’s a UN Model (MUN)?

“Model United Nations”, or MUN, is a widespread type of academic projects in which well-prepared students replicate the diplomatic activities that take place within the UN bodies. Similar projects replicate other international organizations, such as the EU institutions or the ILO bodies. MUNs drive students to learn by engagement, rather than just by reading books.

What’s the UPR?

The “Universal Periodic Review” (UPR) is a unique procedure within the UN human rights machinery. It is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council based on dialogue and peer-to-peer cooperation among UN Member States. Any Country can address recommendations to the States under review, which can either support or “note” them, and must implement those accepted. The aim of this procedure is to keep track of all Member State actions and performances in the field of human rights and encourage Governments to improve the human rights situation in their Countries. UPR sessions are conducted three times a year in Geneva by the Human Rights Council Working Group, composed by the 47 Member States of the Council, with the participation of any other Member State of the UN and with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The output of the Working Group, consisting in a list of recommendations addressed by any States to the State under review, is then approved by the Council in a subsequent ordinary session. Over the UPR cycles, the procedure drives the States to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to prioritise their strategies for the fulfillment of human rights.

What’s the Padova Model UPR?

The Padova Model UPR consists of a simulation of the actual UPR procedure. The main phases include: the articulation and drafting of the State positions on human rights implementation, both domestically and vis-à-vis the others’ States performances; the interactive dialogue within the Human Rights Council Working Group; the adoption of the final UPR report on States under review and the comments of civil society organisations.

The Padova Model UPR offers master’s students and qualified undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in a non-formal education activity, which will provide them with an in-depth understanding of the UPR, supported by a team of peers and experts/officers from the OHCHR.

Teams must thoroughly analyse the human rights performance of the State they represent and of the other States included in the exercise. Teams set up their positions and play their roles in the simulation trying to reflect the political environment of the assigned State. Each team will therefore give a voice not only to the Government, but also to civil society actors and other relevant stakeholders including, as appropriate, National Human Rights Institutions.

Outline of the main phases: 

1)   Preparatory phase: October-early November, 2019

October: all teams are assigned the role of a State. Each team has to draft a report on the human rights issues concerning the assigned State, giving an appropriate weight to the viewpoints of the relevant national stakeholders. This document will be the basis for their subsequent elaborations in the simulation phase.

Late October: The Secretariat organizes seminars (in presence and online) and publishes tutorials to train and provide inputs to the teams.

Early November: Teams are assigned the roles of States under Review (SuR) or Reviewing States (RS).

2)   Final phase: PADOVA MODEL UPR 2019, The Simulation: Padova, 27-29 November 2019

Day 1 (afternoon): pre-session: civil society/NHRIs from SuRs brief the governmental representatives of RSs; 

Day 2: simulation of the UPR Working Group session with six SuR and RS.

Day 3: Adoption of the UPR reports on the SuR by the Human Rights Council.

Who can apply? 

Applicants can be students from any Universities, attending undergraduate or master’s courses in Law, Political Sciences, International Relations and related fields. 

Students can apply individually or in a group of three. For the 2019 edition of the Padova Model UPR it was decided to allow for the participation of up to 12 teams.

Although teams may include more students, only three will represent the team and the respective university in the final phase of the simulation (in Padova, on November 27-29).

How to apply?

Applicants have to fulfill the online form with personal data and basic knowledge about the UPR mechanism. The applications will be selected considering the best motivations and answers to the questions.

The Call For Applications is opened from July, 1st until August, 30th. Selected teams will be announced early in September. Application for Padova’s students will be opened on October 1st.

Individual applications: apply here

Teams applications: apply here.

Why to apply? 

To directly experience the challenges and the dynamics that Government officials, diplomates, human rights defenders, independent institutions etc. face in dealing with the UPR. 

Students can expand their knowledge of the UN environment, taking advantage of the involvement of academics, experts, human rights officers. Moreover, participants will have the chance to reach fellow students from other universities.

Participants may network with other students in a vibrant academic environment such as the University of Padova.

Participating students will be awarded with a Certificate of Attendance, provided by the OHCHR, together with UPR Info and University of Padova. Moreover, best teams and players will receive an additional award.

Where I can find more to start getting familiar with the UPR mechanism? 

Please start with the following:

UPR Infohttp://www.upr-info.org

UN Human Rights Protection Mechanisms (OHCHR website): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/Pages/HumanRightsBodies.aspx

International Human Rights Law (OHCHR website): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/InternationalLaw.aspx

Universal Human Rights Index (OHCHRwebsite): http://uhri.ohchr.org 

Is there any participation fee? 

No, there is no participation fee for the students. 

Are there any reimbursement/ financial support for team delegates?

No financial support and no reimbursement are provided for participating in the Padova simulation. The organisation provides for lunches and coffee breaks.

Contact: upr.modelpadova@gmail.com



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